The real estate agent is a free spirit in our society, and a real estate career can offer opportunities for a great life. Imagine a way to plan and run your business, a strategy that doubles your business just because it raises your awareness of the right things. Below are some tips on how to build a successful strategy into your real estate career.
1. Determine What Your Main Goal Is
Make a note of this: What do you want? For a real estate agent, it’s most likely these three things: more sales, which means more income; more personal time which means peace of mind; more confidence in your business and in yourself.
So write down these three words: sales, peace of mind, and confidence. Right now, which of those do you want most? Just circle one.
2. Look at Your Strengths
How do you improve by large amounts in one year, and then keep improving? You do that by looking at your strengths and weaknesses and determining which of these strengths and weaknesses, if you worked on them, would give you the most and fastest improvement.
Write down what are currently your three greatest strengths or skills that contribute most to your success in your business.
3. Also Look at Your Weaknesses
What is one weakness that most stands in your way? Pick one right now write it down.
4. Determine Whether You Should Strengthen your Strengths
Often it’s best to strengthen a strength. As a popular expression says: an amateur does a thing until they get it right, a professional does a thing until they can’t get it wrong.
5. Determine How to Treat Your Weakness
While sometimes it’s best if you strengthen a weakness, sometimes it’s a waste of time. Instead, you may want to either strategize around the weakness, or delegate it.
So look at the one weakness you wrote down. Would you prefer to strengthen it, strategize around it, or delegate it?
6. Sometimes You Can Also Delegate Your Strengths
Surprisingly, sometimes you want to delegate your strengths as well. Because you’re good at something, you can then train and supervise someone else, in order to save your time.
7. Evaluate your Skills
Next, you should evaluate YOUR SKILLS. Below is a model of all the skills or skillsets for a successful real estate career, and you have just 10 seconds to evaluate each one from one to five.
8. Sales Skills
Write the words “Sales Skills”. Are you confident in your sales skills? Do you lead with questions, or do you talk more than you ask questions and listen? Rate yourself from one to five.
9. Prospecting and Lead Management
Write “Prospecting”, then write down these four words:
- Generate – do you generate enough leads?
- Contact – you may generate leads, but are you actually contacting the leads that you generate?
- Convert – Do you have the skills that convert those leads into appointments that turn into sales?
- Follow up – Do you follow up on the leads? Do you talk to the leads one time, or not at all, and then drop them and lose them?
Each of those four – Generate, Contact, Convert, and Follow Up – is a prospecting skill or a lead management skill. Rate your current skill level for each one, and make a note whether each one is a strength or a weakness.
10. Listing Presentation
Next, write “Listing Presentation“, and then write “70%”. If you’re getting more than a dozen listings a year, and you’re getting 70% of the listings you go after – if 70% of your listing presentations turn into listings – it’s probably a strength. Even if you want to improve your listing presentation, it’s probably a strength. So judge your current skill level at your listing presentation from one (low), to five (high).
11. Buyer Presentation and Working with Buyers
Write the word “Buyers”, and then write “70%” again. If you’re selling over a dozen buyers a year – so you’ve got over a dozen buyer sales a year – and you’re selling over 70% of the buyers you begin working with, that’s probably a strength. Again, judge your current skill level on a scale from one to five.
Write “Negotiating”, but this time, write “80%”. If you’re selling more than a dozen houses a year and you’re successful with 80% of the offers you negotiate, and 80% of the time you get the price that you recommend to the seller in your listing presentation, then it’s probably a strength. Rate your current negotiating skill level.
13. Traditional Marketing
Now write “Traditional Marketing”, and then write these three words: Sphere, Farm, and Brand. Here are the questions you should take into consideration:
- Do you market consistently to your sphere of influence? Sphere.
- Do you dominate one or more farm areas? Farm.
- Have you created and imprinted a recognizable brand in your market? Brand.
So consider your traditional marketing efforts and rate yourself on a scale of one to five.
14. Internet Marketing
Then write “Internet Marketing Strategy”. The question is: do you have a clear, measurable internet marketing strategy that includes social media, a website, and paid marketing opportunities? Rate your current skill level.
Write “Service”, then write these three words, which define your service:
Do you communicate regularly on schedule? Are you consistent in the service you deliver? Do you use checklists to confirm and ensure that consistency? Rate yourself on a scale from one to five.
16. Goals and Results
Write “Goals” and these three words: “Annual, Monthly, and Weekly”.
Do you have annual, monthly and weekly goals? You need to know what your goal is for a specific week or month. Rate yourself on a current skill level of one to five.
17. Attitude and Motivation
Now write “Motivation”, and then write these two words: “Focus, control”. Do you stay focused, or is it easy for distractions to disrupt your day? Does your attitude control you – are you able to shift your attitude and control it? Rate yourself on a skill level of one to five.
18. Time Management, Planning and Systems
Write the word “Systems”. Your current skill level with all of these really comes down to Systems. So, rate your current skill level in “Systems” which include your time management, planning, and organization.
19. Assistance and Real Estate Team
Only if this is relevant to you, write these 6 words down:
These are the skills necessary for you to build a successful real estate team. Rate your current skill level for each of them.
20. Decide How to Manage your Strengths and Weaknesses
If you followed through to this point, you should probably know by now what your strengths and weaknesses are. Choose the skills with 5 stars and the ones with 1 star and decide whether you want to strengthen, strategize, or delegate the fives and the ones.
Look at your notes and your ratings of each skillset, and pick at least one strength that would be your highest priority to work on and circle it. Do the same with one weakness: pick one that is your highest priority and which may be costing you the most, and circle that.
21. Set Goals Based on Your Sales History
Imagine a simple way to set your goals and measure your results that doubles your business just because it raises your awareness of the right things.
Do you have annual and monthly sales goals? Set your goals for each month based on your history of sales so you’re setting them more intelligently.
22. Set Goals Based on Contract Date Instead of Closed Sales
Far too many agents set their goals by closed sales or income, and that puts them out of control. So, for the purpose of managing your business, setting goals, and having control over your business, you must set your goals each month for what you put under contract.
23. Add a Weekly Results Goal of Initial Appointments
Do you have a weekly results goal? Most agents don’t have a weekly results goal, which poses a problem.
Many agents have an activity goal, e.g. how many calls they will make to make in a week, how many mailings, how many notes to send people, or how many people they’re going to visit. The problem with activity goals is that they often will frustrate you and burn you out.
You want to have a weekly Results Goal, and the only effective results goal is initial appointments. Another way to say initial appointments is “a new client”. The number of new clients you need each week is surprisingly small, but this leads to more focus, more motivation, and even more importantly, it reduces frustration and self-criticism; it makes you feel better about yourself. Activity goals lead to burnout, while a results goal fuels your motivation.
This is one of the keys to doubling your business because initial appointments per week is the single goal that leads to more focus, more motivation, dramatically increases production, and reduces frustration and self-criticism.
24. Create a Daily System
A daily system is a set of things you do every working weekday. You do them in the same place (at your office or your home office), at the same time, and you get started in the same way. Ask yourself this question: What are a couple of the things that you do every day, or, if you did do them every day, would make your business even more dependably successful?
25. Create an Activity System
You should also have a set of activities, which is a very comprehensive list. You shouldn’t do all of them every day, but every consistently successful agent does a group of these activities every day in a systematic way.
26. Have a Weekly System
You should also have a weekly system, which is just simply something you do on the same day of the week. For example, on Monday you focus on initial appointments. On Tuesday, you look at skill development. On Wednesday, you could focus on marketing, which is hugely important to every consistently successful real estate agent’s business. On Thursday, you could touch base with every listed seller, every pending client so you’ve had the highest possible quality service, and on Friday you could take time to think and strategize.
27. Start Implementing the Systems Slowly and Improve Them Over Time
This is a lot to take in, so you need to start with one system at a time, maybe even one day at a time. But here’s the key: you don’t have to get it right, you just get it going and keep improving it. Just start showing up every day and pick one or two daily habits, start with the minimum and grow from there.
Consistent daily and weekly systems are a very powerful way to improve your business performance.
28. Putting All of It Together
The key to putting all of this together into an overall strategy is to think. Take 5 minutes every day to look at your goals and your measured results. Every day, where do you stand in relationship to your appointments sales goal for the month? Based on that, you make decisions and commitments for the day.
Once every week on Friday first thing in the morning, take 30 minutes (longer if you like) but no phone calls, no emails, no texts, just look at your numbers, look at your strategy, think about the past week and make commitments for the upcoming week. You do this on Friday so you can go into the weekend with more peace of mind, more confidence, more focus, and that carries over into every day of your business and your life.